HC Deb 24 June 1999 vol 333 cc428-9W
Mr. Sanders

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the performance of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate. [87838]

Mr. Mike O'Brien

The Immigration and Nationality Directorate's caseworking operation is undergoing major accommodation and organisational changes. These changes are necessary to modernise the work of the Directorate to enable it to meet the Government's commitment to a fairer, firmer, faster immigration control. I regret any delays caused by this.

My right hon. Friend, the Home Secretary, has established a project team, working to tight deadlines, to plan and deliver urgent measures to ensure the Directorate returns to previous levels of service.

The team is looking at a range of organisational and strategic measures aimed at improving the performance of the Integrated Casework Directorate, and has developed systems for projecting future output levels so as to target improvements more effectively.

Siemens Business Services delivered the computer system on 14 June. It will now be rigorously tested and piloted to ensure that the Directorate's requirements are met. The system will then be progressively introduced and should become operational early next year.